Cosmetic bridges

A bridge is a type of dental device which acts as a replacement for missing or damaged teeth. It hides the gaps caused by missing teeth – hence the use of the term ‘bridge’  and improves both the appearance of your teeth and face in general.

A cosmetic bridge may appear a lifestyle choice but this is not always the case. If you loose a tooth or teeth for whatever reason then unless these are replaced with dental implants, cosmetic crowns or a bridge then there is a risk of bone loss.

There is a reduction in bone density in the jaw which leads to a drawn, sunken looking appearance which is ageing and unattractive.

So it is important that any tooth loss is dealt with as soon as possible. A cosmetic bridge is a solution to this problem.

Cosmetic bridges are made from any number of materials which includes gold, porcelain, alloy or a fusion of these materials. There are two types of bridges which include:

Find out more about these bridges.

What is a bridge?

If you are not familiar with this dental device then here is a brief description. A bridge usually consists of a wire or metal framework onto which a false tooth or ‘pontic’ is attached. This is placed between two cosmetic crowns.

This structure is then placed over the area within the mouth where there are missing teeth. The pontic sits in the gap and the two crowns fit over the teeth either side of the gap.

These act as a synthetic replacement for missing teeth and also prevent any bone loss.

Advantages of a cosmetic bridge

There are several advantages to wearing a bridge which include:

  • Prevents tooth decay and gum disease caused by the presence of food particles in gaps between the teeth.
  • Eases pressure on the teeth either side of the gap (stops them from falling inwards).
  • Reduces the risk of bone re-absorption
  • Ensures a smooth, clean jaw line and improved facial appearance.


Disadvantages of a cosmetic bridge

We have highlighted the benefits of a cosmetic bridge but there are a few disadvantages as well.

These include:

  • Risk of an infection from trapped food debris under the bridge due to poor dental hygiene.
  • Teeth become sensitive to hot and cold foods/liquids for the first few weeks.
  • The teeth situated either side of the gap may need to be reduced to enable the crown to fit into that gap.

Plus a cosmetic bridge can be expensive.

How to fit a cosmetic bridge

This procedure is carried out under a local anaesthetic. It involves the dentist trimming your teeth on either side of gap (where there are missing teeth) so that they are ready to receive the bridge.

The dentist will then use dental putty to make a mould of your teeth. This involves you biting into the putty which is sent away to a laboratory to be made into a cast. This cast acts as a blueprint for your new bridge. He or she will also check the natural colour of your teeth against a shade chart which acts as a guide to matching the colour of the bridge against your own teeth.

You will be given a temporary bridge during this time.

Once your new bridge is ready you will be called back for the fitting. The dentist will slip your new bridge into position before checking the fit and function.

The bridge is then fixed permanently in place with dental cement.

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